Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Finland Winners Announced

I participated in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Finland awards ceremony last night to see who the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Finland were. Before the awards ceremony though, there were two talks by Kaija Pöysti, the founder of Trantex, a translation company that grew to about 200 people before she sold it, and Petteri Koponen the co-founder of Jaiku and partner in Lifeline Ventures among many others.

Petteri Koponen added some interesting pieces to the puzzle how Jaiku eventually got acquired and what the steps were behind it. He also disclosed that they gave away 2% of the company in 0,5% pieces to advisors to get connected and have the best people on board. But most interestingly, he disclosed that they didn't simply sell Jaiku to Google, because they were in a position where they could choose which direction to go. They had 3 A-round offers on the table from venture capitalists that they turned down and made the deal to be acquired by Google.

However, the main focus of the evening was to award the 10 fastest growing technology companies in Finland that had participated in the competition. Before the awards, it was revealed that Deloitte's EMEA Tech Fast 500 awards will be given in London soon and at least the Finnish companies taking part in the competition have performed very well compared to earlier years. We'll report the Nordic and Baltic companies from the list when it becomes public.

The 10 fastest growing technology companies in Finland were (percentage shows cumulative revenue growth in 5 years):

1. Confidex Oy (5513 %)
2. Snoobi Oy (4652 %)
3. Analyse² (4068 %)
4. Uoma Oy (3015 %)
5. Klikkicom Oy (2308 %)
6. Sympa Oy (2177 %)
7. OptoFidelity Oy (1738 %)
8. Endero Oy (1548 %)
9. Netvisor Oy (1532 %)
10. Beneq Oy (1090 %)

We'll be covering the EMEA level winners as soon as they come in, there are bound to be some very interesting companies on that list.

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akonan November 18, 2010

So how much did they make profit?

I agree that revenue is important, but it would be really interesting to see also what kind of profits these companies made.

Mikki November 19, 2010

Basically all of the companies can be founde there, and there should (for most companies) also be financial information. The information comes from (Finnish) National Trade Register. If the companies have not sent their income statement to the Trade Register (which is obligatory), you can in almost 99 % of the cases quite confidently draw the conclusion that they are making big losses.

Of course, all of the companies listed in Fast 50 have at least revenues. Many of the hyped "social media companies" (and I am not just talking about companies that have been founded last year), have not disclosed their revenues and profits/losses. Wonder why? :)

Antti Vilpponen November 19, 2010

@akonan - agree on the part of the profit. Most businesses can be fuelled with venture money to incredible revenues, but making a sustainable business out of it isn't always as clear cut as it may sound.

We should launch a competition regarding profits as well - what's the best profit margin companies are able to create :)

Jani Penttinen November 19, 2010

Profit margin is not a good measure for most growth companies. A growth startup that makes a lot of profit is kind of a paradox. If you have a business model that works, shouldn't you be investing all of that money into growing the business rather than focusing on making profit?

Similarly a venture backed company is likely to make loss at least in the first couple years after the investment. No investor is putting money into a company with the idea of getting dividends - they want the company to meet its growth potential and grow fast over the next 3-5 years and then exit. Sometimes this plan includes becoming profitable, sometimes it doesn't. Profitability gets more interesting as the companies mature, but it simply is not a good measure of success for startups.

Antti Vilpponen November 19, 2010

Jani, I agree but I've seen businesses where venture money has been poured (literally) into the company to sustain the growth (and breadth of the business) and in many cases it would not sustain the revenue if it was left without the help of venture capital. This of course is the basic understanding of what it takes to sustain a business and what it costs to grow it. Somehow the sustaining part is in some cases blurred.